What parents need to know now about the new Social Host Laws
Cazenovia, NY’s new Social Host Law is nearly perfect. On the plus side, the community had an opportunity for discussion and dissent, the penalty is a citation not a misdemeanor, it doesn’t apply to religious ceremonies or impact the relationship between parent and child, and it includes a “knowingly” clause which requires the police to gather evidence that proves the host had fore-knowledge or witnessed the consumption on their property and didn’t try to stop it. Kudos to Village Trustee Amy Mann for arguing there were enough relevant laws on the books.
On the minus side, the burden of proof is very low, it can easily ensnare parents in houses with usable basements, and the definition of a host is aimed squarely at the 200 Cazenovia College students living off-campus who fall into the adult gap of 18-20; too young to drink but old enough to be arrested as an adult enabler.
To learn more:
Cazenovia enacts Social Host Law . YNN, Your News Now – March 7, 2011 – Byline: Tamara Lindstrom